Get Into The Halloween Spirit With The Best Horror Films Ever Made

Kannon Yamada 28-10-2013

Looking for a terrifying horror film to watch this Halloween? Thanks to sites that aggregate movie reviews, we now can get the scariest ever made, without tons of searching. Sites such as Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and Reddit keep vast databases of compiled film reviews. These sites then handily synthesize lists containing the top genre films of all time.


To get the absolute scariest films, though, you need to filter out other genres. In this article I’ve already filtered out other search results. The movies listed are, according to their respective sites, the best reviewed horror films ever made.



Metacritic scores generally range all over the place, depending on whether the top scores were determined by critics or by fans. Metacritic uses a simple mechanism for compiling review statistics. It takes the critical score and turns it into a percentage — this percentage is then averaged with reviews from other sites. For example, Siskel and Ebert used a simple binomial review system: one or two thumbs up. One thumb represents 50% and two represents 100%. Metacritic averages all reviews made on a film.

Unfortunately a number of these lists were gamed by truly awful films. Before renting a movie, make sure that you check the film for the total number of reviews it received. If a film scores in the top twenty horror films ever made and it only has ten reviews, chances are it’s lousy. Really lousy.

For those of you looking to get more out of Metacritic How To Get The Most Out Of Metacritic Metacritic is one of a handful of big review aggregation sites. Its motto of, "Keeping score of entertainment" sums up what it does perfectly. Rather than focus on just one aspect of entertainment such as... Read More , check out our walkthrough on the site.


Top Ten Best Horror Films, Filtered by Critics

  • Repulsion (re-release) (score: 91)
  • The Host (score: 85)
  • Halloween (score: 85)
  • Drag Me to Hell (score: 83)
  • Taxidermia (score: 83)
  • Alien (score: 83)
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (score: 83)
  • The Exorcist (score: 82)
  • Let the Right One In (score: 82)
  • Little Shop of Horrors (score: 82)

You can check out Metacritic’s best horror films of all time, here, by critics.


Top Ten Best Horror Films, Sorted by Fans

  • Ginger Snaps (score: 9.2)
  • Halloween (score: 8.9)
  • Godzilla (score: 8.9)
  • Evil Dead II (score: 8.8)
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (score: 8.8)
  • Alien (score: 8.7)
  • Army of Darkness (score: 8.7)
  • Vampire’s Kiss (score: 8.7)
  • Fear(s) of the Dark (score: 8.6)
  • Shaun of the Dead (score: 8.5)

You can find the total list of Metacritic’s best reviewed horror movies, by users, here.

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes, like Metacritic, contains an aggregation of reviews, both from professional writers and users. The aggregated reviews also include a special category which only includes review scores from top-ranked critics.


Like Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes’ scores can easily be gamed, so before renting an obscure film, make sure it’s been thoroughly reviewed. Again, a handful of reviews generally means the film is awful.

  • Jaws (score: 105%)
  • Psycho (score: 105%)
  • Frankenstein (1931) (score: 105%)
  • Alien (score: 106%)
  • Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire) (1922) (score: 107%)
  • Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) (1920) (score: 107%)
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • King Kong (1933) (score: 108%)
  • Repulsion (1965) (score: 108%)


You can find Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 75 best horror films of all time here.




There’s a Reddit subreddit for virtually everything, from individual games to sports coverage. A large and growing horror club exists over at Reddit, as well. They even voted on the best horror films of all time, separated by subgenre:

What makes these lists particularly salient is that they’re created by hardcore horror fans. So if you like horror movies, these lists will more than likely cater specifically to your tastes.

The horror subreddit’s members currently are working on creating a list of the best Halloween films ever made. This list should show up shortly before Halloween. Keep your eyes peeled for the results.

There are other subreddits covering horror and the various aspects of the genre. /r/horrorclub, for example, is a club that discusses one horror film a week. /r/horror is a general interest discussion forum for horror films and related material.


We’ve covered /r/horror before, as well as four other creepy subreddits 5 Freaky Subreddits That Will Keep You Up At Night I think I'm an insomniac – I stay up all the time, leaving sleep at the very bottom of my priority list. I understand that it isn't healthy, and truth be told, I'm working on... Read More . However, for those of you seeking even more obscure subreddits 5 Ways To Find The Best Obscure Subreddits On Reddit Since its surge in popularity in 2006, Reddit has truly become the epicenter of social news and information. We're in an age where the newspaper is gradually inching towards extinction as more and more people... Read More , we’ve got you covered.


You can watch the scariest films ever made with ease, thanks to film lists from sites like Netflix, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. These lists can sort by genre, subgenre, ratings and more. The key lies in avoiding “gamed” reviews. Films with high scores and a low number of reviews invariably betray their viewers — avoid wasting your time with these.

It’s also important to note that these genre lists can be used to find movies in any category. You simply change the genre to whatever fits your tastes and sort according to highest reviews. Getting great films has never been easier. We’ve covered six other meta-review sites for films 8 Online Guides To The Best And Worst Movies Of All Time Read More .

Anyone else have a great list of films to watch? Let us know in the comments about your favorite horror films you have enjoyed.

Image Credits: Jack-o-Lantern via MorgueFile

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  1. jack mane
    December 20, 2019 at 10:37 am

    In short, the following films are movies for people who really love horror movies. These are movies that will get you in the spirit of Halloween, even if you’ve seen them countless times before. They re not going to be the most extreme or obscure. These are films that define every aspect of the horror genre and will remind you why you love scary movies so much. They will make you laugh, make you cry, and have plenty of jump-out-of-you-seat moments. These are films that, in my opinion, best represent what horror movies are supposed to be, and give you the best bang for the buck if you don’t own them personally. Most importantly, these are films that are a lot of fun to watch, either by yourself if you are brave enough, or with others if not. These are films that even hardcore horror movie fans should appreciate, and are guaranteed to get you ready for Halloween.

  2. Nero T
    October 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I love watching horror films with my friends and my family. We've just watched Child's Play & Trick r Treat, those are good films and maybe suitable for Halloween, I think.

  3. Kannon Y
    October 29, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Actually, Salo and Henry were both (at least at one point) on Rotten Tomatoe's list for best horror films. But that list is very, very large. Henry is probably one of the most grotesque films I've ever seen, but that's because its subject material hit pretty close to home. Its inspiration is a well known crime where I'm from. People keep trying to get me to watch Salo and I just don't know if I'm up for it. Is it really that.... for lack of a better word... good?

    I would disagree that most zombie films are gross-out films - they're mostly cleverly disguised social commentary. The zombies themselves are irrelevant to the story - you could easily replace them with a natural disaster or with some other dangerous element, such as The Road. Ultimately, these are stories about how humanity needs to work with one another if we are to survive. Unfortunately, a lot of audiences are extremely uncomfortable with the populist message embedded in z-films, though.

  4. likefunbutnot
    October 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    A lot of the most horrifying movies I can think of don't make these sorts of lists. "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" works in a very different way from a typical slasher flick, and the intensity of something like "A Serbian Film" or "Salo" will stay with a person long LONG after they've forgotten about the gross-out scenes of yet another zombie film.

  5. Joel L
    October 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I'm not a big horror fan (in fact, I'm probably a horror anti-fan - too scary) but I thought it was a great way of rounding up the best horror films. I like the different methodologies. Nice one!

    • Kannon Y
      October 29, 2013 at 5:16 am

      Thanks Joel! I'm not big on watching violent films either... I'm more into spooky-scary. Or atmospheric and scary.